Article by Matt Tobutt
There’s a rapidly growing library of books on the topic of coaching. Pretty much all of them will provide the author’s own take on the definition of coaching and mentoring and what skills coaches should have. Coaching is still a relatively new professional area and it’s worth reading and noticing some of the differences in people’s views.
Some of my thoughts:
On the difference between coaching and mentoring – a mentor is a subject matter expert (be it engineering, law, or leading). However the transfer of knowledge is still done using a coaching approach. Almost all industry competency frameworks such as the EMCC’s (European Mentoring and Coaching Council) are the same for coaches and mentors, for this reason.
On what is great coaching – it’s an intervention focused on developing skills and performance. It can be 1-2-1 or a coach can work with a group or team. For me the key to really great coaching is that the coach is a facilitator of reflective learning. This means that the coachee is in control of the process, they need to be motivated to learn, and critically it’s them doing the real thinking and gaining real learning as a result.